The rag-to-riches tale of rugby union’s most capped forward of all time – how a brilliant young player overcame a life-threatening injury to make it to the very top of the international game.
Leonard’s story starts as rugby started – in the amateur days, when the Cockney Carpenter began playing for Barking and Saracens in the days before multi-million pound business owners and sponsorship deals. His big break came when he was invited to join the England squad for their tour to Argentina in 1990.
It was a tour that precipitated one of the greatest periods in the history of the British game, and Leonard provides a compelling insight into life behind the scenes with England and his new club Harlequins as the personal records continued to tumble.
Rob Andrew, Will Carling, Lawrence Dallaglio, Brian Moore, Dick Best and Clive Woodward are just some of the high-profile characters of whom Leonard has plenty of stories to tell. He also recalls some of the greats such as David Campese and Jonah Lomu, whom he has played with or against on Lions tours, for the Barbarians and in three World Cups.
Once told that he would never walk again after undergoing life-saving surgery on his neck, Leonard describes the torment he went through during this period, and how he fought against all the odds to reestablish himself on the international stage. With more than 90 Test caps to his name to date and a career in rugby union spanning two decades, there is no more experienced player in the modern game.
With nicknames like ‘The Fun Bus’ and ‘The Scourge of the Barking Barmaids’, Leonard has lived a colourful and at times controversial life. All will be revealed in this fascinating portrait of an English rugby legend.
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‘There is not a rugby supporter in the land who does not love ‘our Jase’ – the embodiment of the game, the prop who has never lost the common touch’ Daily TelegraphFrom the Back Cover:
In a career spanning two decades, England and Harlequins prop forward Jason Leonard has seen the rugby world turned upside down during its transition from amateur to professional sport. The most capped player in the history of English rugby, with more than 90 Test caps to his name, Leonard has come across some of the hardest men in the game, and survived and thrived to tell the tale.
His life story is the ultimate rags-to-riches tale of a brilliant young player who fights through career-threatening injury to make it to the very top of the international game in the early nineties. Even then there were those who were ready to write him off as the sport turned professional, when pints became supplanted by practice, sponsorship money engulfed the clubs, and fitness and diet became the new buzzwords.
But the Cockney carpenter proved his detractors wrong, featuring in three Worlds Cups and finding a new lease of life in a dynamic and all-conquering England team before winning a place on a third Lions tour to Australia in the summer of 2001.
In his book he looks back on his amateur days at Barking and Saracens, before a move to high-flying Harlequins. Life at The Stoop was never dull, and Leonard gives an insight into the club behind the scenes with players such as Will Carling and Brian Moore. Later for England, he lifts the lid on legends such as Peter Winterbottom and Wade Dooley, and in more recent times the like so Lawrence Dallaglio and Clive Woodward.
Jason Leonard has broken his silence with a book that is sure to enthral rugby followers keen to read how one man overcame all the odds to reach the pinnacle of his sport.
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Book Description Harpercollins Pub Ltd, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007128134